The 2021 NHL Entry Draft has been an interesting storyline all the way through, with a fair amount of drama and surprises all throughout, including trades and other swaps that saw first-round picks as well as picks for almost every round moving around. The Carolina Hurricanes came to the center of some of this drama, with the trade of Alex Nedeljkovic to the Detroit Red Wings for Johnathan Bernier and a pick. Overall, the Hurricanes did fairly well in the draft, and have seemed able to add some depth to their roster.
44th Overall – Aleksi Heimosalmi, Defensemen, Finland: Aleksi is a strong defensive player who is able to throw his weight around to knock opposing players off the puck. He has some skill as a leader, being named an alternate captain of his current team. He is able to contribute a fair amount of points to his team, even from a defensive position, he still manages to set up plays and put up a higher assist total. Overall, the player could make an impact with the Hurricanes and should have a moderate chance of seeing NHL minutes.
51st Overall – Ville Koivunen, Winger, Finland: Ville is a skilled winger who is able to play fast and hard down the wing to create opportunity after opportunity, whether it be to put into the back of the net himself or to set up his teammates. He’s shown skill at the international level, as well as his ability to use different tricks to slip the puck past defenders. Overall he’s an efficient forward, who could make an impact with the Hurricanes and may someday see his chance in the NHL.
83rd Overall – Patrik Hamrla, Goalie, Czech Republic: Patrik is a decent goalie, who puts up moderate stats. His goals-against average is nothing to frown at but also not something to highly brag about. With further development and training there is a chance that he may see some minutes in the AHL.
94th Overall – Aidan Hreschuk, Defensemen, United States of America: Aidan is a fast-footed player who could make it up and down the ice in order to join the rush. He plays as an offensive defenseman and clearly displayed some skill, as he was named an alternate captain of the American U18’s. The Boston College commit seems to have a fair bit of skill and could certainly contribute nicely to the Hurricane’s depth.
109th Overall – Jackson Blake, Right Wing, United States of America: This forward is good in tight spaces, and has great poise. While it is unlikely that he will see much time in the NHL, he is a strong player who can push past defensemen and is able to use his physical size in order to create plays and find open space.
136th Overall – Robert Orr, Right Wing, Canada: Orr is a fast player, who is able to zip down the ice to create space for himself. Everything he does, he does at speed and is largely able to make a forechecking effort. He has a good level head and can read plays well. While certainly different from the last Robert Orr to play in the NHL, he still has his own merits and is sure to contribute added depth to the roster.
147th Overall – Justin Robidas, Centre, Canada: Robidas is a two-way player who fits nicely into the current scheme of the Hurricanes. He is a strong leader, and battles to win back puck possession for his team, whether it be on the forecheck or backcheck. With some continued growth, the player has a shot to make it into the NHL, and fans can look forward to seeing the player in training camps where he will likely look to impress.
The likes of Bryce Montgomery, Nikita Quapp, Yegor Naumov, Nikita Guslistov, and Joel Nystrom, seem fairly unlikely to see minutes in the NHL, and will likely work to fill out either the AHL or ECHL affiliate teams. The players are strong in their own rights, but have yet to show the skill level required to make it in the NHL, and as such will likely have to work hard to earn their shot at an NHL spot. It is somewhat likely that these players may appear in trades in the coming seasons, as other teams look to fill in their depth and will require young blood as their rosters begin to age out.
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